We will meet a family from Eritrea who is living in safety and outside a refugee camp for the first time since 1962. The mother fled Eritrea as a little girl with her family. She lived in a camp in Sudan where she met her husband and had her 5 children, ages 25 to 13. In camp, the children were able to attend school and the older children eventually worked in agriculture. The family arrived in Phoenix at the end of March. The younger children are enrolled in school and enjoying it. The older boys were scheduled for job interviews the day of our initial home visit. The family has met other families from Sudan since that have arrived. Although the adjustment has been challenging, they are happy to be here and to be safe. At the time of our visit, they will be hosting their cousin who has been living in Maryland for 2 years and who speaks very good English.
We will also meet a family from Afghanistan. The mother fled Afghanistan 26 years ago when she was a new bride. She and her husband found shelter in Pakistan where they had 5 children. Four of the children are here with the mother; the oldest son is considered a different case and they are hoping and praying for his arrival here soon. The family is happy in their new home. The older girls are in school and, after only 3 months, they are speaking very good English. The older brother has a job, working to support his family.
And we will meet a family from Pakistan. The family of 4 fled Pakistan and lived for 4 years in Sri Lanka. In Pakistan, the dad was a cell phone technician; he fixes electronics. The mother did not work in Pakistan, but in Sri Lanka she did translations for the UN. The mother is also an expert seamstress. The children were not able to attend school in Sri Lanka, but they did teach themselves how to speak English with help from their parents. They are doing well in school and were excited about the prospect of getting new books from WTAP. This family has family here in Phoenix and family in Pakistan. They are not able to speak often with their family back home. The mother is currently working as a seamstress. The job is hard because her commute is very, very long. Despite the challenges of this first year’s adjustments, they told the WTAP volunteers that are they are very grateful for our support.